September 26, 2007


Welcome to Albert Camus Week at Goat Rope. If this is your first visit, please click on earlier entries.

In his work "The Myth of Sisyphus," Camus asserted that

There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whet er life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy.

(The reader has apparently answered the question in the affirmative at the moment anyway...)

For Camus, the question of the value of life was related to his idea of the absurd, that is human life as characterized by mortality, contingency, and the lack of an inherent meaning in a universe without God. As he put it,

in a universe suddenly divested of illusions and lights, man feels an alien, a stranger.

His image for the human condition was derived from the mythological figure of Sisyphus, who was condemned by the gods to perpetually roll a heavy stone up the hill only to have it roll down again.

Come to think of it, a lot of life is kinda like that. Still, Camus wound up affirming life.

Happiness and the absurd are two sons of the same earth. They are inseparable...."I conclude that all is well," says Oedipus, and that remark is sacred. It echoes in the wild and limited universe of man. It teaches that all is not, has not been, exhausted...It makes of fate a human matter, which must be settled among men.

All Sisyphus' silent joy is contained therein. His fate belongs to him. His rock is his thing...

I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain! One always finds one's burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. The universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night-filled mountain, in itself forms a world. The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.

CHIP VOTE. The House passed legislation preserving and expanding the Children's Health Insurance Program 265 to 159 yesterday, not enough to override a Bush veto if it happens.

El Cabrero and his amigos held a press conference yesterday in support of the program for which we actually had press, which is a plus. High five! Great success!

CHIP AND IRAQ. The CHIP expansion mentioned above costs less than six weeks of the war in Iraq.

UNLEASHING WHATEVER UPDATE. A marriage made in heaven?

A TENTATIVE AGREEMENT between GM and the UAW has been reached. Here's hoping they got a good deal.


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